In Blog, News, Protect, Security

Today’s cyber crims make a mockery of legacy security tech

Since the escalation of the COVID-19 crisis in March, cyber-attacks across the world have risen sharply in number, reach and sophistication.

Ransomware has become especially prevalent in parallel with an increase in so-called ‘big game’ hunting of especially large companies.

Healthcare and telecommunications companies have borne the brunt, but attackers don’t discriminate, meaning every organisation is potentially at risk. 

The latest analysis from cyber security leaders Crowdstrike – ‘’COVID-19: A Perfect Storm for Adversaries’ – notes a more-than 150 percent increase in ransomware and big game attacks in the first half of 2020. The company also reports it has helped organisations block no less than 41,000 breaches so far this year.

One of the reasons is the mass exodus of people now working from home.

In order to enable the transition, organisations have been forced to deploy supporting infrastructure – while enabling personal devices – at an unusually rapid pace, all of which has contributed to an expansion of the ‘attack surface’, in turn creating significant social engineering opportunities for adversaries.

As this attack surface broadens beyond the traditional corporate network environment, it stands to reason that the traditional legacy anti-virus technologies and security techniques are no longer enough.  

Meanwhile, another worrying trend identified by CrowdStrike is that hackers are now opting to be more ‘hands-on’ with their attacks, consciously sitting, observing and waiting for opportunities in real time. 

Living-off-the-land and file-less techniques are increasing in prevalence along with increased exploitation of vulnerable external web services and the broader use of compromised accounts.

This is something organisations should be especially concerned about, demanding new approaches to cyber security which combine technologies with an equal if not greater level of hands-on vigilance as the hackers.

Survival of the fastest

As CrowdStrike observes, “There’s no need to smash a window if you get someone to give you the front door keys”.

COVID-19 has demanded a complete reimagining of cyber security technology, techniques and policies, while sounding a wake-up call about the increased determination and sophistication of cyber-criminals and state-based actors.  

Today organisations need to develop robust security frameworks that reflect the move to remote working.

Incident response and crisis management plans should be up-to-date, fully tested and reliably executable by a remote workforce.

Achieving true cyber-hygiene demands that the principals of zero-trust be successfully ported from the traditional corporate environment and implemented across the expanded attack surface. 

BYOD polices need to be more strict than ever in order to safely allow personal devices access to corporate assets. Similarly, organisations need to be more mindful of the risks associated with these devices being used to access sensitive data via potentially unsecured wi-fi networks. 

But as well as being preemptive, organisations need to also be proactive in patrolling their own environment. 

Crowdstrike refers to the ‘Survival of the fastest’ in urging greater real-time vigilance against cyber attackers. 

As their report shows, the tempo and rate of success of cyber attacks has rising sharply this year, meaning many organisations may have already been infiltrated without their knowledge. 

In today’s new cyber battlefields, it’s more likely than ever that adversaries are constantly active and alert to any opportunities for disrupting and threatening your operations, reputation and financial position. 

As a leading provider of business technology solutions, Enablis has a deep understanding of the importance of effective cyber security in today’s fast-evolving digital world. Connect with us today and start a conversation about how to create the best security framework for your specific needs. Click here to speak with one of the Enablis security team.  If you would like to find out about the Zero Trust Framework click here.

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